Many of us plant trees for their structural and ornamental value in our gardens but planting a tree can have much wider benefits to the environment.
- Improving the air we breath – leaves filter the air we breathe by removing dust and other particulates. Rain then washes the pollutants to the ground. Leaves absorb carbon dioxide from the air to form carbohydrates that are used in the plant’s structure and function.
- Providing a home for wildlife – birds, insects and mammals will all find homes and food in trees
- Helping to reduce global warming – trees absorb CO2 which is a major greenhouse gas
- Acting as a windbreak – wind speed and direction can be affected by trees. The more compact the foliage on the tree or group of trees, the greater the influence of the windbreak.
- Providing shelter from the elements – rain, sleet, and hail can be absorbed or deflected by trees, which provides some protection for the people, animals and buildings underneath. Dew and frost are less common under trees because less radiant energy is released from the soil in those areas at night.
- Cooling our cities – temperature in the vicinity of trees is cooler than that away from trees. The larger the tree, the greater the cooling. By using trees in the cities, we are able to moderate the heat-island effect caused by pavement and buildings.
- Preventing soil erosion – tree roots help to hold soil together and slow the passage of water reducing soil erosion.
- Providing food – trees provide food not only for us but for animals too.